How To Choose The Right Organic Cotton Baby Clothes
Now, more than ever, we are all questioning the choices we make both as parents and consumers. Organic, sustainable, ethical - what used to be considered buzz words are now non-negotiables for many people. What you are putting into your baby’s body, and what your little one is wearing on the outside, are important choices.
Some parents may start this journey by choosing to give their babies organic food. Unfortunately, Australia is the only developed country in the world without a domestic organic food regulation standard in place. It’s a situation that’s incredibly frustrating for not only families but also farmers. It’s at the point where a farmer who has slaved away from seed to harvest adhering to strict organic protocols stands there shaking his or her head as a consumer instead chooses a processed snack over the farmer’s beautiful pumpkins because they saw the word “organic” on the packet.
There are products on Australian supermarket shelves right now which bear the word organic despite only containing a single organic ingredient which represents a tiny portion of the overall product. Luckily, when it comes to clothing there are rigorous standards in place - if you know what you’re looking for.
Climate change is now a frightening reality and fast fashion is a huge contributor to carbon emissions. We believe by producing a high-quality product which can be lovingly handed down for another child to wear, which is produced in a sustainable way, we are doing our bit to buck the trend. If you want to ensure your organic cotton baby clothes are of the highest quality, they must adhere to at least one, though ideally both, of these standards. If your “organic” clothing does not possess one of these standards, chances are it merely contains a small percentage of organic fibres and is not a wholly-organic product. Let’s explore each of the organic standards in greater depth.
A GOTS certified product is not only organic - it’s also created in a way which is both socially and ecologically responsible. The tests for these standards are applied to the entire garment supply chain. According to the official GOTS website global-standard.org: “The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognised requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.” The certifier starts by examining the farming process for the cotton. Once it reaches the factory, if non organic materials are also being processed, they must be separated at all times. All chemicals including fabric dyes and processing agents must meet basic requirements on both toxicity and biodegradability. Banned substances include: toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms and their enzymes. Synthetic sizing agent usage is restricted and bleaches must be oxygen rather than chlorine based. Carcinogenic dyes are prohibited as are certain printing methods which use PVC. Chrome, nickel and PVC accessories are banned. The workers at GOTS factories must be protected by all the tenets of the International Labour Organisation. These include a ban on child labour, no excessive hours, being paid a living wage, being allowed to unionise, having a safe and clean work environment and being free from inhumane treatment.
The factory where Rowdy Roo is made also holds this reputable certification. According to okeo-tex.com it means that: “every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms.” The globally standardised tests are updated every year to incorporate new scientific information or statutory requirements.